- After two delays by the Administration, on March 31st Obamacare’s health insurance exchanges ended open enrollment with a purported 7.1 million signed up. President Obama declared that “the debate over repealing this law is over. The Affordable Care Act is here to stay.” But this is hardly the end of the story.
- Despite measuring themselves against a self-manufactured goal that falls far behind original assumptions, the Administration thus far has refused to provide key information that would shed light on the true number of enrollees, including:
- How many effectuated enrollment (signed up and paid a premium)
- How many paid their first month’s premium but not their second or third
- How many were previously uninsured
- How many young and healthy signed up (affecting rates)
- How many received a subsidy (raising concerns about fraud)
- In January the House passed the Exchange Information Disclosure Act to add clarity and require transparency in the operation and status of Obamacare’s health exchanges providing important data on the number and makeup of Americans who have fully enrolled in an exchange plan or Medicaid.
- In March, House Energy and Commerce Committee leaders sent letters to every insurance provider participating in the Exchange requesting specific enrollment data, including the number of individuals who have paid their first month’s premium and those who are identified as previously uninsured.
- The major goal of Obamacare was to sign the uninsured up for health insurance, but several studies indicate that the vast majority of enrollees previously had health insurance.
- CBO originally estimated that Obamacare would reduce the number of uninsured by 19 million in 2014, before reducing it last May to 14 million. In fact, CBO has estimated that 45 million will remain uninsured this year, with 31 million Americans uninsured even after Obamacare is fully implemented.
- Estimates show that over 5 million people have been forced off their individual private plans into more expensive Exchange plans.
- It appears that only 1/3 or less of the supposed 7 million enrollees are people who previously did not have coverage. McKinsey & Co. estimated that about 27% were previously uninsured, Goldman Sach’s extrapolated that about 25% were uninsured and RAND’s survey found that of the 3.9 million people they estimated had signed up for exchange plans, just 1.4 million had previously been uninsured
- According to a survey by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, about 15-20% of the enrollees have failed or will fail to continue payment of their required premiums. McKinsey & Co. found that “More than three-quarters of those who reported having obtained coverage also said they had paid their premium” and Goldman Sachs estimated that about 80% of people who are “enrolled” will actually effectuate enrollment.
- Finally, the Administration has touted 11.7 million individuals were determined to be “eligible” for Medicaid or CHIP, yet most of the millions who have signed up were previously eligible before Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion (“woodwork” effect). Like with the Exchange figures, key questions have yet to be answered: how many who are eligible signed up; how many previously were uninsured; how many were previously on private insurance or are just renewing? Most importantly, access to Medicaid does not mean access to care.
- Applying these estimates, less than 6 million people will have signed up and paid. And of the enrollees, only 1/3 are estimated to be newly insured. Meaning, after spending $2 trillion dollars Obamacare will have only signed up an additional 2 million people through the exchanges. Is this the Administration’s definition of success?
Obamacare: Still a failure
Just because more Americans have been forced into Obamacare does not make the law a success. The President’s promises remain broken.
Obamacare is just a large-scale redistribution program, spending trillions, raising taxes, cutting Medicare and shifting costs onto middle class Americans.
Obamacare Still Reduces Access to Quality Health Care:
- Already over 5 million Americans have been forced to give up the coverage they have and like.
- Families across the U.S. are discovering that they no longer have access to their pediatrician or hospital due to Obamacare’s narrowed provider networks
- Obamacare will force 15% of hospitals out of business because of cuts to providers
- Obamacare forces 7 million workers to lose their employer sponsored coverage
- Obamacare forces 80% of small employer plans to lose their grandfathered status
- By 2019, Obamacare will reduce employer-based insurance coverage by 20 million people
Obamacare Still Increases Costs and Bureaucracy:
- The law is driving premium rate shocks of as much as 400%, with young, healthy people facing the largest increases. Million have experienced sharp increases in premiums that will continue next year.
- The law is riddled with 21 new taxes totaling over $1.1 trillion, driving up costs and threatening jobs.
- A recent non-partisan government analysis found that two-thirds of all small businesses will face increases in monthly premiums – totaling 11 million Americans – as a direct result of the law.
- Obamacare imposes more than $31 billion in costly and burdensome regulations. Obamacare will make Americans spend 190 million hours per year on compliance.
Obamacare Still Prevents Job Creation and Hurts Businesses:
- The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office found Obamacare will result in the loss of 2.5 million “full-time equivalent” workers.
- Obamacare imposes enormous costs on employers. Employers who fail to offer “affordable” coverage will be forced to pay a $3,000 penalty for every employee who receives a subsidy through the exchange. Employers who offer no insurance at all will have to pay a tax of $2,000 for every full time employee
- Obamcare defines full-time employees as anyone working 30 hour a week, putting low-wage workers at a disadvantage, as employers are forced to reduce hours and cut jobs.
- According to a Hoover Institution study 2.6 million Americans – primarily the young, women, low-income earners and those without a college degree – are especially at risk of having their hours and wages cut as a result of Obamacare’s 30-hour rule.
- Investor’s Business Daily has compiled a database of examples of where employees have had their hours cut. As of the end of January, the database included 401 employers with more than 100 school districts among them.
- Recent analysis of the Current Population Survey shows that all of the very low-wage jobs added in 2013 fell below the 30-hour threshold. Last December, low-wage workers clocked in the shortest workweek on record – only 27.4 hours a week.
- Obamacare hurts small businesses with more mandates, new taxes and administrative burdens, and higher health care costs leading to fewer jobs as businesses are penalized for growing.